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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's TMS week

The RV is already set up in it's space at the track (note to 'spotterman', our group is one row over from last fall, so if you plan on making an impromptu visit, we are one row closer to 'corner'. But I'm not staying up after 'curfew'!!!) The food and beverage lists have been made and are just waiting for Wednesday night to go to the store. The firewood has been loaded and ready to burn. So Thursday morning, it will be off to the track for what has become a spring ritual and tradition. For me, this marks the beginning of the 'live' racing season.

That being said, how about a few random thoughts:

When will they learn?
Once again, at the last Cup race, TeVee was able to capture race fans disguised as 'empty seats', and come this Sunday at TMS, you will most likely see the same. But there is a bit of a difference between Martinsville and TMS. When a track is 'targeted' of being in jeopardy of losing one of their two race dates, one of the first things to stick out, is capacity and sell outs. East Coast Nascar fans are an interesting bunch when it comes to this. They want to complain that 'Nascar is forgetting their roots', yet those same fans will not sell out a long standing traditional race venue no matter how 'good' the racing is there. (See the Rock as well) MVille has a 65,000 seat capacity, while TMS boasts a over 159,000 in permanent seating alone. (not to mention the other 50+K of suites, condo and Speedway Club seating.) So seeing a few empty seats this Sunday is all relative, in the big picture. It is too bad that MVille is just a short drive from two or three very large population centers, yet has trouble filling 65,000 seats, I would hate to see a race date removed from this track for the 'lack of attendance' reason.

The never ending question:
Posed to me these days is, 'who is your driver now'? Actually, my diver loyalty has not changed in almost 10 years now, but my perspective of said driver has. I still like the on-track Elliott Sadler, the way he drives, the way he respects his fellow racers and the way he races as cleanly as possible the majority of the time. But I have been very clear in my disgust of the weekday activities and priotities, and when needed, I will continue to be critical. Criticism is easy to deal with. If it's true, listen to it and learn from it. If it's not true, ignore it. Judging from the hit counter and IP tracker, ignoring doesn't seem to be the case here. And I have also given credit where credit is due on this blog concerning the "Southern Gentleman' and his posse. (and yes, that includes his spotter). So once again, I will be sitting in my seats of 11 years and will have my scanner tuned to the 19 team listening to 'my' driver and whom I consider one of the best spotters is the business, after all it will be Sunday, not a Tuesday or Wednesday. And honestly, if I posted every 'email' claim that is sent to me, some people's worlds might be unraveling at the seams.

But on the other hand, it has been very enjoyable 'starting over' and following the 38 team as well. It is truly amazing to how that 'green driver' excitement and hearing the 'ole man' crew chief work his magic. Brings back some nice memories.

Speaking of the 19
While the early season results have not been exactly what was hoped for, it could be alot worse. Looking at the point standing the next couple of race may force the owner's hand a bit as the 9 and 10 cars maybe too far out to make a run for the Chase (if they are not already). This may put the 19 in position for this year at least as being the 'primary' team. So check the 'bad equipment' excuse at the door.

And when will race teams employ a 'race manager' on race days. Much like the 'clock management coach' many NFL and major college team have. This 'race managers' job once the green flag drops is to determine just what other cars or on the same lap as the team is on. Monitoring those team's scanner chats (especially under cautions). And over all give input to the Crew Chief concerning race strategy. Now we have heard the Spotter making many of these calls and input, but frankly he has enough to worry about, than trying to decide what lap under caution the team should 'top off' the tank and still maintain track position, or possibly gain a position or two. (a nice call btw)

The Crew Chief as well should not be burdened with looking at the constant changing of Nascar scoring to determine much of the race strategy, his focus should be on making the car better. To me, with all the race weekend personnel, surely there is someone that could help manage this much needed information.

RVing at the track
Probably my favorite race weekend activity and especially at TMS. We have RVed with the same group now going on 6 years. Our group has grown from a half dozen or so, to now a Sunday attendance in the mid 20s at times. Like most Nascar events, we are a microcosm of the 'Nascar melting pot', ranging from Cajun from Louisiana, Opera Debs from Dallas, computer nerds from Illinois, attorneys from Fort Worth, construction workers from Houston, the whole gambit. As always, it is alot of fun and the only way to get a full Nascar experience.

side bar:
I am now contributing to 1/3 of another blog
check it out!


Olde Typewriter (Vroom!) said...

Excellent blogating as always!

Have fun @ TMS!

Sure looks like Sadler is doing what Mayfield could not do in the #19!

Snafam said...

I must confess, I still listen to Sadler when at the track, also! It is hard to break old habits!

I know that there will be good times this weekend. Expect at least one call from me!

Trixie said...

It is amazing how so many people from so many different backgrounds come together every weekend from February-November.

Have a great time at TMS this weekend. I won't be making this pilgrimage this weekend. Have a cold for me.